After a disappointing 1-1 draw against Italy, Spain travel to Romania for their second friendly in this international window. The match will be played at Cluj Arena on 27th March 2016, with the kick-off scheduled at GMT 18:45 GMT.
Romania earned a narrow 1-0 win over Lithuania on Wednesday after dominating the game for larger periods. Just 4 shots on target, despite having 64% possession throughout the match shows the East Europeans have to put on a much improved performance on Sunday evening.
Spain on other hand were lucky to come out with a draw from Udine and unarguably De Gea was their saviour on the night. Other than the effort that led to the goal, the La Roja failed to register a shot on target.
- Romania are unbeaten in their last 16 matches and their last defeat came against Algeria in June 2014.
- Their last 6 matches witnessed 6 draws, with 3 of those ending in 0-0.
- Six out of their last 8 matches have witnessed under 2.5 goals.
- Romania haven’t lost a match at home since 2013, which stretches to 13 matches and they have only conceded 4 goals from those 13 matches.
- Spain’s 7 match win streak came to an end following the 1-1 draw on Thursday, but remain unbeaten run in their last 8 matches.
- Prior to the match against Italy, the La Roja have kept clean sheets in 6 consecutive matches.
- Spain scored at least a goal in their last 8 matches and are unbeaten in their last 4 away matches.
Romania: Team News
The 22-year old Steaua Bucuresti winger Nicolae Stanciu made his debut against Lithuania and scored the only goal of the match after coming on as a second half substitute. He will be pushing for a start here.
Watford goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon is likely to retain his place in goal, with the likes of Gabriel Torje, Vlad Chiricheș and Bogdan Stancu are set for a start when welcoming Spain.
Romania: Expected Starting Line-up (4-2-3-1Formation)
Pantilimon – Moti, Chiriches, Matel, Steliano – Sanmartean, Pintilii – Torje, Stanciu, Stancu – Rusescu.
Spain: Team News
It’s ringing changes in the ears of Spanish head-coach Vicente Del Bosque after the horror show against Italy.
Isco, Koke, David Silva and Paco Alcacer are all pushing for a start and the likes of Thiago, Mata, and San Jose could sit out.
De Gea after an impressive performance against Italy could remain in goal, with Casillas once again forced to watch from the bench.
Spain Expected Starting Eleven (4-4-3 Formation):
De Gea – Ramos, Pique, Juanfran, Alba – Fabregas, Koke, Isco – Silva, Morata, Aduriz.
Romania vs Spain: Head-to-Head Stats
- The teams are evenly split when looking at the head-to-head record with 5 wins each from 15 matches.
- The teams last met in 2006 in a friendly, with Romania edging the match 1-0 at Cadiz.
- The last 5 meetings between the sides reads 3 wins for Romania, 1 win for Spain and 1 draw.
- Spain will be looking for their first win over Romania since 1996.
Romania vs Spain: Prediction
Spain’s performance against Italy was terrible and much improvement is needed before they head to the finals in France. Even though there is plenty of quality players in the side, their lethal touch prior to last World Cup has diminished.
The Tricolours’ head-coach Anghel Iordanescu will be stretch their unbeaten record to 17 games and will provide a tough test for the visitors. An upset can’t be ruled out at the moment, but a draw is largely on the cards with Romania playing defensive football.
The La Roja must improve, especially in creating scoring chances, otherwise we are up for a 0-0 stalemate here. Like we have seen before if Romania scores first, the game will be well over for Spain.